EDITORIAL: Rep. Mike Reynolds sparks more controversy
Women. Soldiers. Youth. Music. All have been targets of one state representative’s efforts to pass his misguided ideas through the Oklahoma Legislature.
Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, currently is working on another bill in a long line of questionable legislative efforts that waste our representatives’ time and efforts.
Reynolds introduced House Bill 1029, the Personhood Act of 2013, in January. It defines a fetus as a person from the point of conception.
Oklahoma lawmakers have better things to do than spend time on a bill already declared unconstitutional in the April 2012 decision Oklahoma v. Barber. Reynolds should end his campaign.
If this issue sounds familiar, you have a better memory than Reynolds. A nearly identical bill was introduced and passed through the senate in early 2012 — the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down the bill later that year.
If this were the first instance of Reynolds trying to pass useless legislation, we might understand, but Reynolds has a long history of introducing marginal legislation.
Immediately after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Reynolds introduced House Bill 2195 which would have reinstated the policy for the Oklahoma National Guard. The bill was reassigned to a different committee, ending its chances for passage — another dead end for Reynolds.
The Oklahoma National Guard needs as many people as it can get, and Reynolds’ effort to limit any Oklahoman from serving their state is reprehensible.
And the story of Reynolds continues.
When legislation doesn’t work, Reynolds turns to litigation. In January, Reynolds filed a lawsuit against Gov. Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Youth Expo organizers. Reynolds alleges that over $2 million in state funds were improperly given to the expo, which offers Oklahoma children an opportunity to show livestock and learn about Oklahoma agriculture.
The expo, managed by Oklahoma State University agriculture students, is a positive and worthwhile venture, and Reynolds should use his time pursuing different objectives.
The lawsuit, based on the specificity of the appropriations language, is unwarranted because the legislature voted to fund the expo. Supporting Oklahoma’s youth is a good idea.
By naming organizers of the expo, a non-profit organization, in the lawsuit, Reynolds is threatening the future of the expo, which gives $125,000 in scholarships to Oklahoma youth for Oklahoma schools.
Maybe if Reynolds spent more time worrying about his own waste, he would see where the real problem is.
Reynolds’ most egregious violation of constituent trust is his opposition to having the Flaming Lips song “Do You Realize” as the state song in 2009.
Then Gov. Brad Henry established the song as Oklahoma’s official rock song, but a measure establishing it as the official state song fell just three votes short of passing the legislature. One of those votes was Reynolds’.
Reynolds was concerned about the language in some of the band’s other songs. Reynolds said, “Their lips should be on fire,” according to newsok.com.
Well, Mr. Reynolds, they are the Flaming Lips.
Luckily, Reynolds is in a district that is close to home for the OU community. Many students probably vote in his district and can make a real change when he comes up for re-election. Even if you do not vote in Oklahoma City, please contact Reynolds and tell him or her to spend time on issues that have an impact in Oklahoma.